A cruise can be a spectacular vacation, but if you're traveling alone it can be much more expensive, as the best rates are based on double occupancy. You don't have to be a "third wheel," as there are many ways to find a compatible person to share a cabin. You might make a lifelong friend and have a memorable cruise if you choose the right cruise mate, but it will take some time and effort on your part.
Decide if you'd like to choose your cruise, then search for a roommate, or vice versa. If you're set on a certain date and itinerary, you can begin your cruise mate search after selecting a cruise. If you're flexible on dates and itineraries, you can search for a roommate who has similar preferences, then settle on a cruise. Decide which way you'd like to go before beginning your actual search for a cruise mate.
Make a list of your preferences for a cruise mate. If you're up at the crack of dawn you wouldn't want to share a cabin with a night owl; by the same token if you're a non-smoker, then someone who puffs cigars might be a bad match. Consider things such as age, background and alcohol use.
Consider the cruise line's cabin share program. Most cruise lines go out of their way to make single travelers feel comfortable and will help you find a cabin mate under a "single share" program. But you should talk to your travel agent about each cruise line's roommate finder program. Some will match you only by gender and not give any consideration to your age or personal preferences.
Find a cruise mate on your own. Start with your travel agent, who might have a single client in mind who might make a good match, or you can post your preferences on a cabin share website and conduct your own search. Talk by phone with any prospective roommate to get a better idea of the person's personality, likes and dislikes.
Work out the finances. Make sure the cruise line doesn't just lump all charges to the room under one person's bill. Double-check to make sure the line knows you're sharing a cabin and want itemized charges to go to the right person.
Tips & Warnings
- Provide as much personal information as you can when seeking a cruise mate. Beyond the obvious things such as age and gender, let people know if you're a party animal or just enjoy strolling the ports of call.
- Be advised that not doing your research on a prospective roommate can land you with someone who is not compatible, and you might not be able to switch cabins once you set sail.
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